Landlord responsibilities

Guiding you through the letting process" to "Landlord Advice - Guiding you through the letting process

Step 3 - Understanding your legal responsibilities as a landlord

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There are some legal requirements you will have to comply with as a landlord. This section introduces some of these responsibilities.

The law states you must maintain the property and undertake any major repairs that are required. This includes anything that affects the structure and exterior as well as the electrical, heating, hot water and sanitary conditions.

In addition, there are special rules that apply to soft furnishings, gas and electrical safety, tenants with disabilities and shared houses. These rules can be found below.



All soft furnishings must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) Safety Regulations 1988 and be fire safety compliant. Look for the fire safety label on all furnishings. For further information visit: http://www.firesafe.org.uk/html/Legislation/furnregs.htm

  • The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 say landlords must ensure that gas appliances, fittings and flues are safe for tenants use and that installation, maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by a Corgi-registered gas installer. If everything is OK, you'll be given a certificate called a CP12 and you must give a copy of this to the tenant. Gas safety checks must be carried out on a property annually. For further information visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg285.pdf
  • The Electrical Equipment and Safety Regulations say you must ensure that the electrics are safe, with operating instructions and safety notices supplied before a letting commences. Get your electrics regularly checked by a qualified electrician.
  • Landlords should make 'reasonable adjustments' to their property to accommodate a disabled person.
  • Certain types of shared houses (called Houses in Multiple Occupation) have to be licensed under special rules, which also require the property meets certain extra fire and electrical safety standards. These rules also set a limit to the number of people who can occupy a property. Whether or not you need to get a license depends on the size of the property and varies by council - ask your local authority's housing department for more information.

A good general guide to all the regulations can be found here:

If you are in any doubt what your responsibilities are, your local Rightmove member letting agent will be able to help and advise - however, as the landlord it's your legal responsibility to ensure the regulations are complied with and that safety checks have actually been carried out - failure to do so is a criminal offence so seek advice and guidance.

Also, if you own a flat, some leases require you to tell the freeholder of your plans to let or may prohibit certain types of lettings - check your lease agreement carefully for any possible restrictions.

Finally, if you are planning to let your former home, a standard home insurance policy will not cover you properly and may result in claims being rejected - you'll need a special landlords' insurance policy. But don't worry - premiums are not much higher than on a standard policy.

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